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Stuart O’Neill ‘Yeller Dawg’ —

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“If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic. You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words….” —Lawrence Ferlinghetti. From Poetry as Insurgent Art [I am signaling you through the flames]. His most famous work, which I own and hope he hangs on long enough to get an autographed copy, is ‘Coney Island of The Mind’. It is magnificent. If you don’t have it in your library buy it now .

If you haven’t read the Beat Generation works then you haven’t set the foundation for your understanding of the Hippie Generation or the fight to end the VietNam war. You couldn’t understand the Civil Rights Movement acceleration in the 60’s or the freedoms you take for granted today with the Grunge Movement, the Foodie Revolution and more. It all started with a group of primarily men who took the American Dream and shook it like a tree with ripe fruit. I’ll post more of the Beat Generation works in the future. I have never posted one of those Gifts Wanted lists but a new copy of ‘Coney Island of the Mind’, purchased at City Lights and, god willing, signed by the author would top my list. It’s just that good. Related articles by Zemanta
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Books That Influence: A Coney Island of the Mind ( Christopher Hitchens On “Crucibles: Past and Present” (

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